Manager post Kilmarnock

Listen to this James McPake interview

Dunfermline boss James McPake felt that for an hour of the Viaplay Cup match against Kilmarnock that his side was decent:-

“We didn’t start the game well at all and it’s becoming a bit of an issue. There’s been a few games like that, if something goes against us we take a wee while to get back into it.  It is something that we need to address it and we will. For an hour we gave them a good game.

“You get out of a game what you deserve more often than not and Kilmarnock probably did deserve to win it in the end.  They did the hard thing in the game, they scored two goals. I thought the second goal was an excellent finish, the first goal really poor for us to lose.

“Killie are decent, good team, good manager. We just need to move on to Tuesday now but I’m disappointed with the start. We lacked a killer touch and that was the disappointing thing. We got into good areas and we didn’t quite trouble the goalkeeper enough.  Andrew Tod had a good shot, a good strike from a good bit of football and it was a good save from the goalkeeper but other than that we are getting into those areas and not we are just not good enough in the final third at the minute. We need to get a bit better.

“In saying that I don’t think Kilmarnock troubled Deniz either other than the Vassell strike and the first goal was just poor defending from us. We need to be better than that. It wasn’t a game of real clear-cut chances and I think both teams will feel when the league starts, moving forward, they’ll need to be better at the top end of the pitch.”

You could only list six subs so are you any closer to strengthening?

“We’re working hard on signings. It’s the same answer I give all the time.  We’re close with one, which we hope we’ll get over the line.  We were close on Tuesday night and yet we are still here on Saturday. We’re always working but what I need to stress that we are going to do, and it might not be the answer people want to hear, we are just not going to sign people for the sake of signing them. 

“We’re not bringing in numbers to say we can fill a bench. That is not wha5 we want to do, we need to sign quality and that can come in and play in the starting eleven and help the team in a very tough Championship.  That’s what we will continue to do and there’s still plenty of time but we know that we need people in.”

What is the position of the new signing?

“Goalie. Not, it’s not. I’m not going to say because everyone will start guessing and who it is and who it is not, but he’s a good player.”

What are your thoughts on the Murray challenge on Lewis McCann?

“I’d need to see it back, I’m not sure. In the heat of the moment, you think it’s a bad one. I was more disappointed with how the officials handled it, the full game really. It is back to mumping and moaning that people will not stand and have a conversation with you.

“You try and speak to them and they ignore you or kid on they can’t hear you. It’s the same across the board. Maybe you’re better them ignoring you because then you’re not getting yourself in trouble. He is a Premiership referee with Premiership officials on the side – but they can’t even speak to you properly. That’s annoying but that’s life.

There is a positive in Andrew Tod’s performance?

“He was excellent and I’m not surprised by that because he’s definitely ready. I’ve never been afraid to throw young boys in. I said to Andrew that we weren’t putting him in the team because there was a need to do it – we had Paul Allan and Rhys Breen on the bench. Andrew was excellent on the game but he has been excellent for the four or five months really. He had a bad loan spell at Elgin but sometimes those are good experiences in the end because it gives you the hunger to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“He’s earned his place in the team. He did well, I’m delighted for him. He’s a good boy and he now just needs to keep working hard to try and stay in the team because he showed today he can compete at this level.”

You have said that eight points probably won’t be enough to qualify out of the group?

“Did I say that? It might be enough. It would have been enough last year – we lost that penalty shoot out to Alloa, that would have taken us to eight points and we would have qualified. It just depends on how many teams finish on nine points and are second best in their groups. normally you get a few teams on twelve points. This year there seems to be a spread out of points so I will have a look at that tonight. 

“It will be disappointing if it’s not enough because we wanted to go through. All we can do is go to Coatbridge on Tuesday and win. Then we have a week and a half to prepare for Airdrie and then we will see where it takes us.”

Will you have Michael O’Halloran back for that?

“Yes, we should do, he was very close today.  It was a just a case of not rushing people just to get them minutes. We are going into a very important season in the league and that’s not to belittle this cup because I’m one who comes out saying just how important it is all the time. It’s very important to get through in it. Michael just had a bit of tightness in both hamstrings. It is a difference in load on him, we will get him right and hopefully he will get some minutes on Tuesday.”

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